HPD Officers Honored for Fight Against Drunk, Drugged Driving
Nine Hawai‘i Police Department officers and two deputy prosecutors (see names below) were recognized for their their exemplary efforts in combatting drunk or drugged driving by Toyota Hawaii and MADD Hawaii.
Since 2012, Toyota Hawaii and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii (MADD Hawaii) have honored police and prosecutors across the state. This annual recognition is part of an ongoing MADD Hawaii effort to raise public awareness and lower fatalities.
Hawai‘i Police Department Major Samuel Jelsma received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Hawai‘i Island. A 28-year police veteran, Major Jelsma has made driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement a priority throughout his career and estimates that he has made more than 500 DUI arrests. In his previous position as a traffic enforcement sergeant,
He established new roadblock locations across the island that resulted in a 179% increase in DUI arrests.
Major Jelsma was one of the first Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) for the Hawai‘i Police Department and in the first group of DRE instructors. As a standardized field sobriety test instructor for the Recruit Training Academy, he brought in family members of victims killed by drunk drivers to give powerful testimony on how the deaths affected them, which had a tremendous impact on the new officers.
Later as a patrol lieutenant, he made an unprecedented number of DUI arrests while also serving three tours in the Middle East as part of the Army National Guard.
When he was promoted to captain, he changed views on DUI enforcement:
“As a captain, my wings got clipped and I was specifically instructed that I was not to make DUI arrests myself,” Major Jelsma said. “So if I came across a DUI, it was assigned to patrol officers on shift, but I generated a narrative of the probable cause for the stop. Beginning with my initial Kona captain position and continuing into my Puna captain position, I made it a policy that when it comes to DUIs, everybody plays—like AYSO soccer. I didn’t buy into the line by officers, ‘I don’t do DUIs.’ My response was ’you’re gonna do them now.’”
Major Jelsma oversees Area I, Hawai‘i’s east side districts, and continues his emphasis on DUI and challenges Area II with competitive challenges, helping to keep the number of drunk and drugged drivers off the road.
- Officer Lawrence Kobayashi
- Officer Wyatt Kaili-Leong
- Officer Keith Nacis
- Officer Erhard Autrata
- Hilo Prosecutor: Deputy Prosecutor Randall Albright
- Officer Dayson Taniguchi
- Officer Len Hamakado
- Officer Jason Miyashiro
- Officer Adam Hanes
- Officer Jonathan Rapoza
- Kona Prosecutor: Deputy Prosecutor Britt Bailey
About Toyota Hawaii
Toyota has been Hawaii’s top-selling automotive brand since 1997 with seven dealership locations statewide—Big Island Toyota (Hilo and Kona); Maui Toyota; Servco Toyota Kauai; Servco Toyota Honolulu, Servco Toyota Waipahu, and Servco Toyota Windward. Toyota Hawaii is a subsidiary of Servco Pacific Inc., Hawai‘i’s largest privately-owned company, and is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2019. For more information about Toyota Hawaii, visit www.toyotahawaii.com.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-hour www.madd.org or call Hawaii Victim Services number at (808) 532-6233.
MADD Hawaii, the local chapter of MADD, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Its office is in downtown Honolulu. A MADD memorial to the victims of impaired driving and other violent crimes was erected in Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park in 2003.